Days after Dawson Geophysical sued Cecil regarding the use of township roads for seismic testing, municipal officials said the company has “willfully violated” a local ordinance governing recent work on two state roads.
Township Manager Don Gennuso said Tuesday morning that citations were pending against the company because it failed to provide notice and information to the municipality, as well as maintain the proper distance from homes while “thumper” trucks roved Reissing Road and state Route 980 last week.
In fact, it was Supervisor Andy Schrader that brought the alleged violations to Genusso’s attention when he noticed one of Dawson’s trucks drive past his Reissing Road home.
Schrader said Tuesday that he personally witnessed Dawson conducting testing near three homes on his street—and that he and zoning officer Mark Whalen traveled to the homes Monday to measure the distance from the throughway to the buildings.
And he said that in all three cases, the distance from the home to the street was far less than the required 150-foot setback required by the township’s ordinance governing seismic testing.
He said at 1741 Reissing, measurements taken by Whalen showed a setback distance of only 122 feet, and when that information was cross-referenced on township software using county mapping data, it was shown as a distance of only 102 feet.
Schrader said the same was true of 1884 Reissing Rd., where Whalen’s measurement showed a 109-foot distance from the throughway to the building, with county data showing it at just 107 feet.
Then at 2173 Reissing, the township’s measurements showed a setback of just 68 feet—with county data indicating the road was only 58 feet away from the road.
“There are the three that I witnessed,” Schrader said.
Then there was a resident who called the supervisor, saying that Dawson’s trucks had been past his house at 2674 Reissing Rd. When Whalen measured the distance from the road to the structure, it shows a setback of 94 feet, while county data indicates it is as close as 85 feet.
Schrader then pulled out a note from Dawson’s permitting director that read in part, “We are at the mercy of county records.”
Which leaves one question in Schrader’s mind.
“How didn’t they know they were within 150 feet?” he asked. “You know they know.”
Schrader and Gennuso then referenced the seismic testing ordinance, highlighting that Dawson also failed to:
- provide a map to the township showing where testing will take place
- provide a schedule of testing events
- provide written notice to residents living within 250 feet of the testing area
Gennuso said citations are pending, and that when Dawson's permitting officer, Doug Holmes, was approached about the violations when the township manager arrived on scene, the company official gave a sheepish answer.
“It was kind of like, ‘We forgot.’”
Reached Tuesday morning, Holmes referred comment to Dawson’s Southpointe office. The person who answered the phone there referred comment to Range Resources spokesman Jim Cannon, who said that he would glean more information and get back with Canon-McMillan Patch.
Editor's Note: Were you an affected resident? Call me at 724-510-5659. -amanda